Is it for lack of time/resources? Is it because of the markup?
At my previous company we chose to use Bootstrap as the CSS framework for our pretty large scale web application that we were building. We changed just about 100% of the visual components of Bootstrap to suit our own needs, but heavily utilized the responsive grid, simple JS UI components, a lot of the form formatting, and a few other features.
All of these things take a long time to write, test, and document if you are doing it on your own so we chose to start with Bootstrap and then remove/change CSS and JS to make it work for us. I'm sure that the compiled Bootstrap assets turned out to be larger/slower than if we wrote everything to work specifically for us, but the time savings to get it all up and running made it worth it - at least for the first few iterations of the product.
Basic grid already created; basic responsive features; you can use as little or as much as is useful. Why not?
Because "using as little" as you need means you are still including a convoluted stylesheet into your markup, 80% of which isn't being used. I think Bootstrap is a solution for some when it comes to prototyping, but I don't think any serious coder/designer would ever use it for client work.
I'm pretty sure you can just output the components/markup you need, though?
Yeah, I mainly use it for the grid. In past versions you could customize exactly what pieces of bootstrap you want to use.
Bootstrap and Foundation both have customizers. Foundation's Sass version lists every component as an @import statement, so it's really easy to pick just the stuff you want (e.g., the grid, forms).
Which is to say, yeah, the good frameworks are modular, which means you can strip them down very easily.
Because it gets better not worse. It has been browser tested far beyond what my lazy ass will ever do.
Limiting, poorly coded framework for noobs. :)
tl;dr: Non-coding designers use bootstrap because it's easier/faster than writing their own front-end framework.
bootstrap migth not be tempting for user-front websites anymore but it's a brilliant fw for CMS systems, admins, back-ends and etc...
I second this, I wouldn't use it for a front facing marketing website where the design needs to be approached from scratch, but for getting a web application up and running it's awesome. You can worry about finessing later once you have something to click around.
I've always had Bootstrap used when devs want to quickly mock up a site - never when a "designer" is involved, I guess? I've always thought of it as just a quick mock-up to market kind of thing.
If you need something more robust, try foundation: http://foundation.zurb.com
I've started using it because I can't be hassled with really putting any effort into side-projects that I take on because I "have to". These range from a branded photo-sharing site for my brother to a portfolio site for my girlfriend.
Arguably, I should've just said "no", but even after 10 years in the business, there are some people that I just can't do that to.
So I solve the issue by using Drupal with a theme I built that includes a couple of nasty tweaks to the Drupal CMS core and; Bootstrap.
It just saves me time.
I learned about Drupal at my day job. I work for a company that uses CakePHP and builds pretty much everything using frameworks. We're a small crew, but we manage a whole bunch of sites that seamlessly integrate with each-other.
The advantages of using frameworks and plugins for us are legion. - (free) upgrades - easier integration between sites - takes away from the learning curve for new devs (since we look for people that are familiar with our frameworks) - faster development - very stable, as you often leverage the power of a whole community (95% of what we use is open source)
Having said that, we do make conscious decisions about what parts of each framework we use. Where my own Drupal installation suffers from immense bloating (I'm no developer) here at work we optimize the crap out of everything we touch.
The parts we use differ per site. One site might leverage Bootstrap's form styling because we were lazy (or because the styling happens to be awfully close to Bootstrap's - it happens) whereas another might use some of the scaffolding, eg fluid columns, or responsive layouts. And then sometimes you use some of the JS because you've found an awesome plugin that requires some of Bootstrap's JS to work.
So in conclusion, I use Bootstrap for two reasons: - At home, I use it because I'm a lazy bum that can't say no - At work we use it because it helps us rapidly build and maintain a great number of sites and apps.
Hope this gets read ;)
speed and customization
If more than one person is writing the markup, the style guide becomes indispensable. For personal projects I use it for speed and out of laziness. For group work I use it to keep the code DRY. It is also battle tested and IMO well worth the size. And Bootstrap 3 is even easier to customize. The only time I don't use it is for simple one off pages. For any project that will grow quickly and need to be maintained, it's the least painful choice.
My startup's primary product is financial software, (a backend for procurement/reimbursements). Bootstrap really sped up the development time for the product. We only get to work on our product on nights and weekends, since we have to do other projects/jobs to pay our bills.
Now that we're launched (and have customers), we started weening ourselves off of Bootstrap. Which really means that I'm writing our own CSS Framework that's much smaller based only on what we need.
Really appreciate your comments guys.